Mill construction and heavy timber construction are both modern methods of construction. They are preferred methods of controlling faster spread of fire in an event of fire accidents. These forms of construction have the tendency to slow down burning which provides enough time for firefighters to stop fires. Mill constructions are durable and characterized by their heavy floors with thick wooden beams. The mill constructions are assigned a fire-resistive rating of two hours. Heavy timber constructions provide more resistance to fire as builders use thicker wood in the construction (Sobon & Schroeder, 2012).
Mill constructions are built without any spaces to prevent passage of flames. Constructors use large pieces of timber that have the ability to slow down burning. Slow burning in mill construction is also achieved by protecting the wood with metal plaster and latch. Heavy timber construction involves constructing thick masonry walls using very thick pieces of wood (Allen & Iano, 2011).
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In the recent years, a majority of buildings adopts the mill and heavy timber forms of construction (Allen & Schreyer, 2011). Both types of structures are durable and strong. Mill constructions can resist fire for at least two hours. Heavy timber constructions have better fire-resistive abilities than mill constructions. Buildings of heavy timber construction can stand for a long time before they catch fire but when they do catch fire; it becomes quite difficult to put out the fire (Corbett & Brannigan, 2015). Firefighters need to conduct a pre-visit to constructions made of heavy timber as the actual firefighting activity may prove to be quite challenging. Heavy Timber Constructions are also stronger and more durable as compared to mill construction.
‘Slow burning' is a feature of constructions that assists firefighters to actively and successfully put out fires. Mill constructions and heavy timber constructions, both, possess the ability to resist burning for a considerable amount of time. In heavy timber constructions, thicker wood and beams are used which prolong the resistance to burning, as compared to mill constructions.
Allen, E., & Iano, J. (2011). Fundamentals of building construction: materials and methods . John Wiley & Sons.
Sobon, J. A., & Schroeder, R. (2012). Timber Frame Construction: All about Post-and-Beam Building . Storey Publishing.
Robertson, A. B. (2011). A comparative assessment of mid-rise office building construction alternatives: laminated timber or reinforced concrete (Doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia).
Allen, E., & Schreyer, A. (2011). Fundamentals of residential construction . John Wiley & Sons.
Corbett, G. P., & Brannigan, F. L. (2015). Brannigan’s building construction for the fire service (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.